- Vegetable Fat
- INCI: Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter
- Melting point: 82-97 °F (28-36 °C)
- Comedogenicity: 4
- Composition: Stearic acid (up to approx. 37 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 35 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 30 %), linoleic acid (up to approx. 4 %), phytosterols, carotenoids.
- Cosmetic use: Dry, chapped skin; hair care.
The evergreen cocoa tree can reach a height of up to 15 m and carries various thin branches. The elongated, pointed leaves are lighter on the underside and about 30 cm long. The pink flowers can be found on the branches and directly on the stem. The flowers occur in dense groups and consist of five, slightly hairy sepals. The fruits of the tree are elongated berries (15-25 cm long) with thick, leathery skin. The unripe fruits are green, the ripe fruits can be yellow, orange-yellow or red and after drying the fruits are brown. Under the skin of the fruit there are 30-60 seeds arranged in three to eight rows. These are embedded in a white, slimy flesh and contain up to 50% oil.
Extraction of Cocoa Butter
The filtered or centrifuged fat is obtained from the cocoa seeds or cocoa mass by pressing. The seeds are first roasted and the shells removed. These are then crushed into a cocoa mass and then separated into the fat component and the press residue (press cake) by means of a grease press.
Cosmetic use of Cocoa Butter
In cosmetics, cocoa butter is often used to provide particularly dry, stressed or chapped skin with much needed fat. The components contained in cocoa butter moisturize and soothe irritated and brittle skin to make it smooth and elastic. Its skin-improving properties also make cocoa butter effective against stretch marks and wrinkles. Wrinkles in the eye and mouth area are especially reduced, which is why the butter is often used as a component of wrinkle creams. Cocoa butter is usually not recommended for oily skin, as this would result in overcrowding. Sensitive facial skin would be especially ideal terrain for clogged pores, bacterial inflammations and increased sebum production.
The many saturated fatty acids of cocoa butter also make it an intensive care agent for the hair, which can penetrate deeply into the hair structure.